by Teresa Nicolosi (Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna)
The second Una Europa PhD Workshop “Dissonant Heritage: Concepts, Critiques, Cases” was held on 16-20 November 2021 simultaneously at the Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna and at the Uniwersytet Jagielloński w Krakowie. The Workshop was open to more than twenty PhD students from the eight Una Europa universities, that have been able to count on the 1Europe budget support for mobility. In fact, the participants were physically split in two groups between Bologna and Krakow, communicating and interacting with each other during several dedicated moments through online platforms.
They were called to reflect on the theme of dissonant heritage, i.e., that kind of difficult or sensitive heritage that is rooted in controversial contexts or in historical dark periods such as colonialism or totalitarianism eras. In particular, works were inspired by four main cross-cutting themes: unveiling the dissonance of the scientific museum collections, designing the social sustainability of dissonant heritage, arts and dissonance – historical and legal perspectives, arts and dissonance – how arts can help overcoming dissonance.
In order to discuss these topics, since the very beginning of the activities that included a Pre-Workshop online phase, it was really noteworthy the multidisciplinary value of the students’ background. In fact, they were anthropologists, archaeologists, sociologists, historians, musicians, experts in literature and history of arts, and their different formation and geographical origin were invaluable points of strength during the whole duration of the Workshop.
The program was articulated into five days of seminars, teamwork and two fieldworks in each of the two locations: the Nowa Huta district and the Museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland, the Anthropological Museum of the University of Bologna and the Forlì rationalist district in Italy. The outcomes of the activities will consist in an online final conference and in an e-book including worthy students’ essays about their experience and some introductory articles in order to illustrate the principles and most significant results of the Workshop.
Thanks to its cutting-edge format involving several students from different research fields and countries that met both physically and remotely, the Workshop “Dissonant Heritage: Concepts, Critiques, Cases” was a truly immersive experience. It was a formative opportunity that allowed to deepen participants’ knowledge about dissonant heritage, but also to discuss new ideas and perspectives about cultural heritage in general. Moreover, it was a priceless occasion to discover new places and habits, meeting new young and senior researchers, professors, as well as other people involved to varying degrees in the study, safeguarding and promotion of cultural heritage.
In addition, the two locations organization was particularly challenging, but it was completely worth it in terms of cultural, social and personal knowledge and growth both for organizers and participants. These relevant results have been achieved thanks to the collaboration of several different professionals from different cities and institutions, following the model and concept of the Una Europa alliance, aimed at creating a truly European inter-university ecosystem.
Teresa Nicolosi is a post-doctoral researcher at the Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna